NEW YORK STATE (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued guidance on Tuesday to help prevent conflicts between people and coyotes. Coyote sightings are expected to increase as spring approaches, and they tend to be more active.

DEC is encouraging New Yorkers to be aware of the potential for conflict and take the steps below to prevent negative encounters.

  • Never feed coyotes.
  • Do not leave food outside. Pet food and garbage attract coyotes and other wildlife and increase risks to people and pets.
    • Feed pets indoors.
    • Prevent access to garbage.
    • Fence or enclose compost piles.
  • Eliminate the availability of bird seed. Concentrations of birds and rodents that come to feeders can attract coyotes.
  • Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets. If you see a coyote, be aggressive in behavior, stand tall and hold your arms up or out to look as large as possible. If a coyote lingers for too long, make loud noises, wave your arms and throw sticks and stones.
  • Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.
  • Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable.
  • Fence yards to deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level and taller than four feet.
  • Remove brush and tall grass from around homes to reduce protective cover for coyotes as they are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide.
  • Ask neighbors to follow these steps to prevent coyote conflicts.
(New York State DEC)

DEC says that just seeing a coyote is generally not a cause for concern, but people should contact their regional DEC Wildlife Office if they encounter a coyote that exhibits bold behaviors and doesn’t fear people. Another cause for concern is if a coyote is seen repeatedly during the daytime near residences.

DEC says to contact your local police department in any emergency situations.